Getting Sh*t Done

pencil2Look! Look! My fabulous new pencils compliments of my friend Kelley. She hoped they would inspire me to continue blogging so this post is in her honor.

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited this site. It was initially started to help me become “relevant” as I started thinking about going back to work. My password was even some secure version of This Will Get Me A Job. I think I was hired before I posted an article, but still… I don’t think it hurt in the job karma universe.

Where have I been? Teetering on the edge of sanity, that’s where. Baffled that I’m not a superhero and can’t remember everyone’s schedules without writing them down. Perplexed because my “I’ll use the crockpot today!” intentions die a thousand deaths EveryTime and I rely on frozen Trader Joe’s entrees more often than should be allowed. Curious how all these people around me walk the planet and seamlessly seem to juggle their lives and remember Girl Scout meetings and birthday parties and find time to come home after work and cook for their families and read to their kids at night. I usually pick one and that’s my pat on the back. I think I hold it together fairly well externally. (Well, pretend you don’t hear me stuttering and sputtering, trying to articulate a word that just doesn’t want to travel from my brain to my mouth since my brain be fulled up. Sometimes I terrify myself and probably the people around me.) But really – how I had unintentionally taken time for granted!

I’ve been working for 10 months now and still can’t believe how fast it’s gone. I have a great job. I love the people I work with and the opportunities I’m afforded. I have my own little  family at work and they, too, get me. And tolerate me. I don’t even have to turn off the “Marilee.” These pencils pencil1 will have a place of honor at work and I don’t think anyone will blink. If the company owners can laugh with me when I share the phrase “fhuck knuckle” (gleaned from a True Blood episode) and nobody blinks when I squeak “fhuck me!” at my computer when it’s not cooperating, I’m at home. (Side story: I was entering my office building on a rainy day two days ago and just about ate it on the sidewalk and just barely managed to right myself before a “fhuck me!” slipped out. A coworker faux-shouted “Did you just assault me?!?” Maybe funnier in person, but see?) I’m supported at work and still get tons of support from family and friends. Y’all keep me sane and content and I’m so fortunate to have a circle of old and new surrounding me. Today happens to be my birthday so I’m reflecting on these blessings.

It also means I’m going out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory shortly for gluttony. So, au revoir for now!


My Jason

I’ve had many Jasons in my life, with the most important one for an obvious reason (he’ll get his credit later). I’ve had lots of Jason friends and I recently went to work for a Jason. I had a huge crush on three different Jasons – one in my 5th/6th grade years and a different Jason my freshman year in college. The elementary Jason went on to take his priesthood vows so I don’t feel so bad that I couldn’t seem to catch his attention. The freshman college Jason was fleeting. The third is my Jason, and when I met him I already had a positive association with the name. We found friendship and the rest is all rosy history – over 15 years married, 19 years together and even longer as friends. Not too shabby. I like to fondly tell him that I’m still not sick of him yet, and fortunately, I believe that’s mutual. My Jason is a fantastic husband and father. My Jason is my Jason because I have a brother-in-law named Jason (Jason’s sister married a Jason. Christmas present labeling can get confusing, as you’d imagine). My Jason’s best friend is a Jason, who happens to be my 2nd husband by right since he’s married to my bff and our kids are even tight. (Side bar, I like to imagine my Jason with his Jason going to the bar and it being like a Night at the Roxbury. Not that one is tall or short (they’re almost the same) or that one has weird hair and a creepy suit jacket (they’re both bald and like their casual sporting wear) but it makes me smile. So, when the Jasons go out on the town, I hear a little techno beat of happy. Anyway, I’ve been fortunate to have some great Jasons in my life. Only one rightfully stole my heart and can make me laugh like nobody’s business. Even better, he has that twinkle in his eye that so many people have told me over the years, strangers and friends alike, that I have, too. I’m grateful for Jasons former and current, but obviously most appreciative for my twinkly-eyed match. Cheers – to Jasons!

Back to Work

After 11 years of getting to boss around my kids and husband, next week I will re-enter the work-force to be bossy to other adults. (I kid. Kinda).  I’ve been forewarned that I’ll be expected to give a brief introductory to “Who is Marilee” at my first staff meeting, which I’m certain I’ll be blushing like an idiot the entire way thru as I internally coach myself to slow down and not verbally slap the room with nervous speed.  I think I can.  I think I can.

Not realizing how anxious I would be at the prospect of not getting a job I wanted, I was thrilled with the whirlwind just shy of a week, from introduction to interview to offer.  And, you know what I did, just after receiving the thumbs up and calling my husband and parents with relief and excitement?  I hightailed my ass to the local TJ Maxx in absolute panic mode.  “OMG!  What am I going to wear!?”  Not that I feel like I need to be a fashion superstar – I need to call myself lucky since it’s a “smart casual” environment (i.e., jeans!)  But, now I’ll need more than one favorite pair.  I have such an affinity for my tired uniform of holey sweats that my husband threatens to throw them away all the time (although, I’m certain they’ll throw themselves away.  There’s no more fabric covering the elastic waistband, there’s paint down the legs, and were I to bend over to pick up an errant sock on the ground without holding them up, my pants would become one with the carpet).  I have multiple pairs like these, fyi.  I’ve graduated over the last 11 years and at least now wear a bra daily (can’t be said of my early mothering years; stop your cringing) and try to look somewhat/sorta not awful.  But, on top of no more elastic waistbands during all my waking hours, I almost burst into tears when I realized I’d have to do my hair and makeup every day.  Pathetic, I know.  I’ve come to love the feeling of that comfortable uniform look.  Alas, onwards and upwards.  I can promise that I’ll be on top of things most mornings, but can also guarantee my family might never see it since I’ll be back in sweats 10 seconds after I cross the threshold when my day is done.  I might try to change that for my family’s sake, just to spice things up.  We’ll see.  Baby steps.

Sniff, Sniff

I just came home from the grocery store with an impulse purchase from the bakery – a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.  Surprised to see it in January, (I mean, c’mon, it’s swimsuit season in most of the department stores right now so in my mind it’s April already), I couldn’t resist.  I promised myself three bites and the rest for my kids, which I’m happy to say I honored.  After wrestling that plastic clamshell lid open, the scent of sugary pumpkin immediately made me want to put on cozy socks, light some candles and wait for a windstorm – basically, rewind to my favorite season, Fall.  So, as I slowly relished my three (and a quarter?) bites, it made me ponder (yes, really, ponder) how powerful scents are in a lifetime and how grateful I am to have that functioning sense.

A few weeks ago while dodging down a busy aisle at Target, looking for something in the automotive/cleaning isle (and why was that aisle busy???), I saw the Vanillaroma® hanging Little Trees and again, impulsively grabbed a 3 pack.  (At least my impulses are under $4 a pop, right?).  Anyway, my daughter wanted to know what on earth the yellow tree was all about, so I tore one open, VanillaRoma-500x500rebelliously defied the instructions to keep it only partially exposed, and hung the whole naked yellow tree on the back of the girls’ bathroom door.  And proceeded to forget about it.  The next morning I woke up after all kinds of crazy dreams, all involving my high school boyfriend.  After blinking through the fog of dreamland into reality, I pondered (again, yes, I pondered) where that nocturnal movie reel came from.  Walking into the girls’ bathroom later that morning, I almost shouted “Bingo!”  (okay, not really, but you can imagine it, right?)  I realized all those dreams were caused by that stinkin’ Vanillaroma® tree!  High school boyfriend had those in his truck, always.  Funny, isn’t it, how scents can have such a powerful grip on your memory?  Heck, sometimes I feel like I can barely remember my name, and yet I can definitely remember how the frog I dissected in 8th grade science smelled (it smelled like canned green beans, for the record.  Seriously, you will N-E-V-E-R find me eating green beans).

Anyone been to a Scentsy® party?  Where you sit around and smell all kinds of yummy fragranced meltable wax?  It’s fun to do with a group and hear about what certain scents remind different people of, and you understand how wide the gap is in what people find appealing or gross.  Most of those Scentsy® scents gave vague triggers for me and others, such as, “I can’t remember what this reminds me of, but it’s something from when I was in 6th grade.”  One Scentsy® smell reminded me of a potpourri that was popular in the ‘80s so it was like I was sitting at this party but there was floral pink wallpaper and pink carpet from my cozy pink childhood room instead of the comfortable living room I was in.  Another trigger is from a fragrance oil:  I make cold-process soap for the family and one of my favorite fragrances reminds me of Pez.  Therefore, it reminds me of childhood summers, playing a game we called “war” in the driveway with kids from the neighborhood – warm, dusky evenings and skinned knees.  All from one whiff.   Fascinating that such a brief trigger can play back such vivid memories.  Now, I could progress into a ponder-session about how songs can do the same thing to people – long walks down memory lane.  But really, you don’t want to read what songs such as “Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh or “Take a Look at Me Now” by Phil Collins remind me of, do you?  Cringe.  You should do your own sensory pondering now.



As I sit here at my computer, I’m staring at a box of ashes I just picked up from the vet.  They contain the remains of my beagle, Cassie, who sadly was put down shortly after Christmas.  Sigh.  She was a fantastic dog and a fantastic pain in my ass.  Cassie was often chewing on something she shouldn’t be (like gates – she chewed through many gates, sheets of plywood and tried gnawing on rocks we had in place to block the gates).  She would squeeze into our garden and eat all the ripe strawberries, or she would dig up half the yard looking to snack on lawn grubs.  Who needs a lawn aerator when you have a digging beagle?  She also dragged a bag of bloodmeal from the garden shed and devoured it one day.  That was fun.  She loved chasing our neighboring horses up and down the fence line (whilst barking up a storm) and would bay at the scent of some raccoon/bird/squirrel/rat late at night.  Hot air balloons that would fly directly over our yard during the summers used to drive her nuts and she would have lost her voice had we let her.  In the end, I definitely knew she was ailing because she created no mischief, didn’t howl at the wind or try to repeatedly dominate her dog-sister’s head, a black lab 3 times her size.  (Side note to my 7 year old, “Gee, I don’t know why Cassie isn’t trying to get piggy-backs anymore!?!”)  Pain in the ass or not, who will I start howling at to get a howl in response? (honestly, we participated in family baying since that’s not weird at all.  My husband is an expert).  Who will I spell yell at? (I couldn’t just shout foul language around the girls when the beagle was driving me crazy, so I took to spell-yelling certain things.  Really – where’s the gratification in yelling “Hey!  You!  Knock that off!”  Totally lacking gratification.  Instead, it would sound something like “Hey!  Stop being such a W-H-O-R-E!  Knock that off!”… spell-yell, spell-yell, spell-yell.  (Refer to my A Little Bit More About Me post for my personal particulars around swearing).  No matter how frustratingly annoying she could be, she was a sweet, sweet soul, and I’ll miss that spunky dog.  My beagle was my first baby, and even after she fell down the ranks once my human babies came along, she was still a good kid.  Happy trails, dirty doggy.  We’ll miss you.

Fa La La La La

Late last week I was in the girl’s clothing section at my local Target, thumbing thru holiday outfits for the girls (knowing full well I’d walk away empty-handed since I’m not too interested in throwing down cash for something they’ll wear twice) when an older couple walked by.  They were in the midst of a heated debate about a gift their grandson might like – she thought he’d like whatever they were discussing and he didn’t.  I caught bits of him LOUDLY sniping at her, saying, “you don’t know an f’ing thing!” and her retorting, “ would you just shut up and let me finish?” (I think the entire store heard snippets of their discussion, so it wasn’t like I was eavesdropping or anything).  In their not-brief-enough pass-by, I heard super snotty words being exchanged.  C’mon, grandparents, aren’t you supposed to be… grandparent-y (i.e., nice?)  I think I was even slightly offended at hearing such mean-spirited language from One With Grey Hair.  A woman beside me smirked and started singing, “’Tis the Season to be Jolly” as the GrinchyFolk walked by, which I thought was spot on.  But in response to her sarcastic singing I snort-laughed (referred to now and in future posts as the snortle – a hybrid of a snort and chortle) and then she just looked at me and blinked for a moment.  (For the record, I usually have no shame with the snortle, but sometimes it can be a little toueretts-y  and it just happens by itself and I get a little red in the cheeks).  Fortunately she appeared to quickly recover from processing the strange noise that bubbled out of me and proceeded to inform me that at 11:03 am, it was the third such encounter she’d witnessed that morning.  C’mon, people.  Choosing a gift is a privilege, so find your holiday cheer already.  See the light at the end of the stress and be nice to each other.  ‘Tis the season, after all.


I’m freshly home from running errands and dancing around like a potty-training 2 year old.  I really have to pee.  I have to clean up the bags of Target goods I have dumped in my entryway before my kids get home and they realize that I do the same thing that they do every time they walk in the door (I just don’t get yelled at for it).  I have little time before they’re here, vomiting overflowing backpacks and jackets and shoes in the entry and before that moment happens I have 147 things to get done.  I have to move quickly.  Oh, and I really have to pee!  But, upon walking in the door, I notice that my husband might have forgotten to let our geriatric dogs out when he left this morning (their incessant barking from the garage tells me this) so I race downstairs, away from needed receptacle for pee, to let the dogs out and feed them.  Easy enough – I can quickly address this before I take care of my own needs (definition of mom, no?), except I’m already downstairs to let them out when I realize that I didn’t first grab a spoon for their wet dog food.  I’m too lazy to turn around and run up the stairs to get a spoon, not to mention my bladder is screaming at me.  beagleThat’s okay – I can improvise with a foolproof method of banging the can of dog food against the side of the dog bowl.  The food will slowly but surely make its way out – like cemented ketchup.  BANG!  BANG!  It takes several more smacks against the bowl before I hear the satisfying wet sound of the food lurching its way out of the can.  Works every time, albeit slowly.  Except this time something goes terribly wrong.  Less than 5 smacks in and instead of food plopping nicely into the bowl, nasty wet dog food backfires and sprays across my chin, cheek and sweater in moist, stinky chunks.  Gag reflex is working – I tested it just now.  Involuntarily.

Moral of this story?  Don’t be so lazy that you can’t walk up 6 stairs to get a proper utensil.  You could end up smelling like a fool.

A Little Bit More About Me…

Swearing.  I do it. I love it. I can control it.  I do it frequently in adult company and lightly around my 10 year old to watch her eyes bug out (read: “hell” or “crap”). For the purpose of this blog, I will intentionally misspell some of my favorite words so it doesn’t seem so real (like, if my grandmother was reading over my shoulder, she wouldn’t start trembling in mortified horror at seeing these words in type). Shyt. Fhuck. GawdDamnit. See? Harmless! I even like the breathy way the “fhuck” sounds. Try it out. Maybe even my Mormon girlfriends will approve. If I spelled these words correctly then I’d wrestle with guilt. Does this make me a spineless weenie, not owning up to her true nature? Maybe. But this is not the post for self-reflection. Besides, misspelled words means I’m not technically swearing, right?